Half of Twitter’s Spending Has Been Wasted $TWTR $TSLA

Half of Twitter’s spending has been wasted or ineffective. It will be super easy for Elon Musk (or anyone competent) to make Twitter far more profitable.

Twitter has been spending 25% of its revenue on Research and Development and 23% on marketing. However, the number of Twitter users has been flat since 2014.

Elon Musk will be able to create research projects and marketing efforts and strategies that will actually grow users and the daily active users. Elon has been able to grow SpaceX and Tesla without advertising.

Easy fixer upper for Elon. 2X users to match Reddit or Snapchat. 4X users to Linkedin. 6X users to get to Tik Tok, 12-15X users to get to Facebook and Youtube.

Part of Elon’s Twitter plan is to add fun back.

Twitter had 7500 employees as of December 31, 2021 and 1500 of those employees work on moderation of tweets. It seems likely that Elon Musk will drastically reduce any content moderation except for violent tweets and those kinds of illegal tweets. Elon will focus on using AI to reduce bots and incorporate the authentication of users.

In terms of features, Elon Musk can add better instant messaging. Traditional instant messaging apps have proven difficult to monetize. WeChat has developed several revenue streams by becoming an essential part of daily life. WeChat average revenue per user (ARPU) is $7, or seven times that of similar service WhatsApp. A monetized instant messaging at the level of WeChat would be worth $1.5 billion to the active daily users of Twitter and $2.8 billion for the total current users.

Elon helped created Paypal and is involved in Dogecoin development.

Elon can add Wechat-like payments and shopping and cryptocurrency.

5X the users and 5X the revenue per user would be 25X on the enterprise value.
15X the users to become the leading social media site (beyond Facebook and Youtube) and 10X the revenue per user would be 150X the enterprise value.

Here is the 2021 annual report for Twitter.

Elon Musk could also add games and other applications.

Hawaiian Airlines just announced they will add in Starlink onto their passenger flights. Elon will be able to integrate Starlink and Twitter onto Air, train, car, bus, truck and ship travel.

Elon will be able to use Starlink to provide backend network capacity for short and long video services integrated with Twitter. Short video and short messages seem like a solid combination. Tik Tok has grown to over 1 billion users using short video. Elon has over 82 millon followers and knows how to engage users and what will be engaging.

SOURCES- Twitter and Brian Wang’s analysis
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

43 thoughts on “Half of Twitter’s Spending Has Been Wasted $TWTR $TSLA”

  1. The European Union is based on a centralized regulatory system that grants a certain standard of services to all its citizen (I know that because I am Italian and lived in Italy, Switzerland U.S., and Sweden). They enforced the same kind of policies with Microsoft, Apple, Facebook… and this results in stronger privacy protection and a generally higher level of services (like warranties length, right of recess, right of data cancellation and so on) in Europe than in the united states.
    If you want to access the EU 440M citizens market you have to adhere to a certain standard, nobody forces you to do business with the EU, but if you want to do business those are the rules, and it is nothing new, Musks knows it very well.

  2. Hi Brett, what I am saying is that the vast majority of the public does not care too much about politics, and platforms that try to cater to the vast majority of the public tend to be bigger than others that target groups that have a stronger political view. Platforms that host groups with multiple political views have more content and you can see it with our conversation: we do not agree and we are producing content that might engage other readers increasing the customer base. If I agreed with you I might have given a thumb up but that is less engaging. More content makes more money, Hosting services value money, they will expect you to grow in a certain way and bring money without damaging the general business. If you bring 100M but they end up losing 1Bn for having you they will dump you. And that is what happened. Highly politicized platform get less public and remain small. People can blame conspiracies, deep state, or whatever reason they want but the simple truth is thatplatforms built around a deeply polarizing view will be always less appealing and will always less viable businesswise. Furthermore I would say that gab, parler and truth social were not well built (especially the last one). And being hacked is no excuse: if you think there is an orchestrated effort to damage you, you build your business accordingly, as banks are built expecting a certain level of security. If you cannot manage your security you are either not competent or very marginal or both.

  3. So, your thesis is that they'd agreed to host them at an unprofitable rate on spec, and dropped them when they didn't end up big enough to make the rate profitable? All that would have demanded was raising their rates, not booting them.

    The hosting companies literally contracted to host these sites when they had NO users, then dropped them while they were growing rapidly. And they did so at the exact same time as other actions were taken against them, actions expressly based on those platforms refusing to censor in the same manner as the other platforms.

    It was NOT financially motivated, and that's the problem. It was ideologically motivated. Multiple parts of the financial and IT infrastructure have been ideologically captured, and act in a coordinated fashion to kill new platforms that don't conform to their ideology. Even, especially, if their user bases are rapidly growing.

  4. You are misrepresenting what I said.
    You stated that the reasons for the modest success of gap parler and thruthrsocial were hostile actions from financial institutions hosting services and hackers.
    1) I said that hosting services and financial institutions value the money, if the big companies dump you it means that you bring less money than the money they will lose by losing customers that do not like you hosting such services. If you bring less money than the amount you lose, it means that your potential customer base is small.
    2) Every platform is constantly under attack, smaller platforms are more prone because they have a weaker infrastructure.
    3) Every platform initially grows fast reaching most of the audience they initially catered to. Once that specific audience has been reached it is more difficult and expensive to expand. If your overall audience is small you will still grow fast at the beginning but your absolute numbers will be smaller and you will have less capital to expand.
    These are the point I made.

  5. OTOH, Europe is ready to fire the big guns in support of censorship, they're threatening truly massive fines against Twitter if it doesn't continue, and even increase, the amount of censorship.

  6. That's the part of the system the bureaucracy isn't letting Musk test. I think there's very little doubt that Starship will make orbit on its first launch as a full stack. But to be really a success, it has to come back down in good shape, and they're not letting him do the testing to validate that.

    The first delay might have been legit, though it sure looked like a case of, "So many people demanded that we promptly approve your application, that we have to take extra time to review the comments."

    The subsequent delays are much less excusable, and at this point it seems they're not even pretending that they're not deliberately slow-walking him

    I hope it's just to give SLS a chance to launch first, and isn't a full scale hit job on SpaceX.

  7. You're just rationalizing here; Your original position was that they didn't grow because the customers didn't like free speech. But they WERE growing until they were attacked. Very rapidly, even!

    Now you've changed to claiming they didn't grow because the IT and financial services' customers didn't like free speech. But your only evidence of that IS the attack!

    Here's my position: The customers DO like free speech, they were actually restive under the censorship, and eager for a platform that would let them say what they wanted. But the censorship was supported by a shared culture in management, not among the customers, and the coordinated action wasn't to avoid offending the customers, but rather to protect the censorship model management liked against the customers moving to an uncensored platform.

    The key point here is that management are NOT acting at the moment to maximize stockholder value, they're violating fiduciary responsibility. They're doing what they're doing because they found themselves in control of somebody else's property, and found that they could abuse that control to achieve political/social aims, even if it was at considerable cost to the legal owners of the property.

    The reason Twitter being bought by Musk scares them is that it's already established, too big to take down the same way they went after Gab and Parler, and if the customers DO like freedom of speech, that's going to be unambiguously demonstrated.

    And then their stockholders sue.

  8. Hosting companies and financial services company value the money if the money they get from you is less than the money they lose for hosting you it means that your public is small/smaller than their general customer base that is against you. You will end up relying on smaller hosts and financial service that cannot compete on the general market. Every platform is constantly under attack, but smaller hosts are easier to attack. Furthermore Parker and Gab and every platform have an initial rapid growth until they reach a second phase (you see it also in the twitter chart) where the low hanging fruit have been reached and you need more investments to expand. Twitter had the numbers and the capital, invested and grew, Parler, gab and thrutsocial do not have a big enough customer base.

  9. Love the SS but it has been years since it was two weeks to an orbital trip.The hard part is coming down.

  10. Tesla is making billions with their robotaxis,the CT is the most popular vehicle in America and the F-150 is being discontinued, most goods travel by Tesla semi(actually it is true that the Tesla semis are diesel powered and similiar vehicles do transport our goods.)
    Tesla will be fine as long as no one wants the Ford or GM trucks.Ot that those two don't make other EV's.
    Imagine an EV Hummer! They'll have to offer huge rebates to move those at $110K!

  11. Lets focus on the massive divertion of profits from green technology to those which use energy.Elon is taking a huge amount out of clean energy and putting it in dirty energy.
    This in addition to his massive methane burning operations.
    His main focus so far has to brig back Donald and his wind turbines cause cancer message. The world is at its highest concentration of CO2 and because of China world coal us is higher than ever, even in US price and use of coal is skyrocketing.
    Elon has always encoraged China to burn more coal and oppress the minorities.

  12. "Other social platforms that promoted "more freedom of speech" like the new TruthSocial are not particularly successful because it is a niche market easy to reach but small."

    I tend to think that being subjected to coordinated attack by hosting companies and financial services companies, being kicked out of app stores, and then hacked as your online security company drops their protection to open a window, might have a little something to do with that. Gab and Parler were growing like gangbusters until they got that treatment.

  13. Yeah, basically everybody who wants censorship calls it something else. Nothing new about that.

    "A UK government spokesperson said companies must adhere to the forthcoming online safety bill"

    So, not Europe's existing censorship regime, which is bad enough, but their new and even worse censorship regime.

    I don't see Musk having a problem with censoring genuinely illegal content. The problem is their determination to force platforms to censor perfectly legal speech in politically defined categories.

    "But politicians are also going to have a say on what is unacceptable. These are the priority categories of legal but harmful content. Companies must state clearly what their policy is on these areas in their terms and conditions. These categories will be outlined in secondary legislation and subject to approval by both houses of parliament. In its press release announcing the bill, the government referred to “self-harm, harassment and eating disorders” as being the types of content that platforms will have to tackle. Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, says this will take away the power of censorship from tech execs (it just ends up with the government instead)."

    I think this is going to have to be a serious confrontation, or the whole world gets stuck with the level of censorship the most censorious country demands.


  14. Twitter can probably be quite profitable. Get rid of marketing (Musk really dislikes marketing- hence why there next to no Tesla marketing), and speaking as a veteran software developer I can say that probably half of Twitter's software development can be fired. I don't get the impression that they actually contribute much.

  15. LPP's latest newsletter announced that they hit a world record plasma purity, 10x more pure than the W-7X stellarator. Also anode erosion is looking very good.

  16. The EU’s laws on banning Nazis and similar are quite old and established. What you call censorship I call decency.

  17. Your assumption is incorrect. In the gold rush, those who make the most money are those selling spades to everyone, to the few that find the gold, and the many that do not. Social media platforms cater to the vast majority of the public because it is the vast majority. Only the very small social platforms have niche markets and target very politicized fringes in the political spectrum because those are small uniform markets that require little investment to be reached and maintained. Furthermore, Brian's statement that Twitter did not grow since 2014 is disproven by the chart he published: Twitter's customer base increased by 1/3 since 2014, with the sharpest increase in the last few years.
    "Freedom of speech" has never been a problem for the vast majority of the customer base and indeed the customer base grew. Other social platforms that promoted "more freedom of speech" like the new TruthSocial are not particularly successful because it is a niche market easy to reach but small.

  18. "power . . . more difficult and expensive in Space". Have you read "The High Frontier" by Gerard K. O'Neill? Have you heard of comm sats, and how they are powered?

  19. "Twitter users has been flat since 2014" this statement is false and disproved by the very first chart at the top of the page. User base grew from less than 300 mil in 2014 to 400 (estimated) in 2021. That's a 33% growth and defining it flat is dishonest. Twitter was growing and from the chart is clear that with the pandemic the user base increase accelerated again. It was a good business opportunity (likely better than tesla) that is why Musk sold tesla stocks to buy twitter.

  20. It’s crazy that AI hasn’t already been applied to traffic control. There is a big disconnect between current knowledge and its application. I guess this in general is actually Elon’s focus.

  21. The point of ESG is it frees the companies to do what makes them more powerful instead of what pays. I mean the average person pays for it with their 401k and freedom but look at all the power the 1% can reap.

    And yes elon is the 1% but he has shown he's also interested in more libertarian values than most.

  22. Utter waste of time vanity effort by Musk. Should focus on SpaceX and Tesla and leave social media alone.

  23. I'm not so sure that it's optimal to conduct a "truth commission". Why not just implement the transparency policy so that all decisions are visible? That's going to be one big battle with the employees by itself.

    I could be wrong though…

    Think of the former president. He did close to nothing during his time as president, but the detractors were screaming at the top of their voices all the time anyway. So there is no guarantee that implementing the transparency would be easier without having the truth commission…

  24. Twitter user base is well established and is not going to grow no matter what. Distinguished from other social networks It is made in a big part of people who have interest politics, public and entertainment figures and their followers. Elon may put Twitter in the cross fire with an irresponsible management style to the point that it will loose usage. It is too bad that Elon is looking for outlet to channel is somewhat ridiculous ideas rather than keep focusing on making Electric cars and space more available!

  25. If marketing and R&D aren't generating any growth, then there is a chance that Twitter has simply maxed out in polularity and the people who are interested in it are already on it. And there really just aren't any features to add to help it grow.

    Is that true? I have no idea. Verizon bought Yahoo and rather than investing in new features they are essentially cutting expenses to the bone to see if they can get it profitable. I think a similar thing happened with AOL. Now that platforms like Twitter and Facebook are getting older perhaps something similar will happen with them too.

  26. If they close the deal, the new team had better hurry up and lock down all of that IP before it is sold off to some other social media company on the QT.
    They are removing the shadow-banning and bot utilities as we speak. Hopefully there will be a forensic trail enough to justify subpoenas to outgoing IT employees. Stop them before they get on a plane and forfeit their H1 visas.

  27. Your analysis of Tesla and China battery production growth is I think an original insight, not just reporting a tech story. You are doing a great job of digging up underlying meaning to public data in these areas.

  28. Elon appreciates that free speech is not a problem of dealing with government censorship. It has little if anything to do with evading laws. He was recently very explicit about this. The problem is improving the quality of AI censorship and making the rules AIs follow open source and subject to debate. Platforms need more and better censorship but less secrecy and human bias. “Free Speech” is a lot like free flow of traffic. It only exists within a rigorously enforced framework of rules. The issue is taking political, commercial, or other human bias out and making the rules smarter. He also mentioned using Tesla FSD vision NNs in traffic lights. Oddly I think that’s closer to the issue than orbiting data centers. Smarter more flexible traffic lights would make traffic flow better – freer because of more sophisticated rules. No more sitting at dumb signals when there is nobody coming on the crossroad. The same for social media rules.

    Both power and cooling are more difficult and expensive in Space – especially cooling.

  29. "Half of Twitter’s spending has been wasted or ineffective. "

    Your mistake here is in assuming that their goal for the spending was increasing their customer base and/or profitability.

    Suppose YOU owned a social media platform, and were intensely political. You could manage the platform for profit, take your profit, pay a tax on it, and then under current campaign finance laws, you could spend a tiny fraction of that money on influencing political outcomes in a direction you liked, reporting the money you spent.

    OR, you could manage the platform for political influence, suffer a loss in income, which would actually reduce your tax burden. The in kind contribution you were making would be unregulated, unreported, and legally unlimited.

    In this case, the legal owners of twitter, probably mostly mutual funds, had no such motive. But the people running Twitter, and treating it as their own property, did. And they took their profit in political influence, at the cost of customer base, and to the financial detriment of the stockholders.

    And didn't even have to pay taxes on the in kind donations they were making, because they were realized as somebody else's forgone income.

  30. To be fair, Musk has been doing many things worthy of reporting (imo). Unbelievable things. Twenty years ago I would have laughed at such predictions.
    There are other stories worth reporting, but none are moving at a similar velocity.
    Elon has been precient and willing to take large risks. If they pay off we will all benefit.

  31. Will you cover newest, most advanced AI from OpenAI – Dall-e2?
    It's probably most amazing AI on the planet at the moment(judging by people reactions).
    You will find more here, probably best vid desribing it.

  32. Musk has one trick up the sleeve to implement "freedom of speech" that can not easily be intercepted. That is to launch the datacenter infrastructure into space. When Starship can launch mass as promised, it may be cheaper to operate datacenters in space than on the ground. Free power and cooling and no one can turn it off without using an anti-sat weapon.

    Another thing that may happen is a feature to eternalize twitter information by hashing it onto a block chain. This could be useful in the context of anti censorship.

  33. Fair enough. Its true that Musk stuff dominates the news. But I used to rely on Brian for digging out the obscure stuff that other sites miss, and hes very good at his job. I wish I'd listened about Bitcoin and Tesla in the early days. Its just that the latest twitter musing by Musk about Dogecoin isn't really the Next Big Future.

  34. 12+ articles on nuclear energy and two on nuclear fusion this year.
    I covered the resurgence or at least the reversal of the decline in nuclear fission energy. I covered Thorcon molten salt.
    I covered Helion fusion in January 2022.
    Nuscale covered Dec 2021

    When I cover fusion.
    comments – Fusion power, now 2 years in the future! Well, that's an advance. It was 20 before, then 10, and lately it was 5. etc.. don't believe. doubt it will work.
    Still delayed. After all these years maybe something is coming together. It’s hard not to be skeptical though.
    I cover other the huge impactful developments at SpaceX, Tesla and because there is a lot happening. Wahh, so much elon.

  35. I wrote an article about First Light Fusion. They made some neutrons. This is two years after they said in 2020 that they would run an experiment and create neutrons. I also talked about the other nuclear fusion promises. they are looking breakeven in the late 2020s if things track and a commercial reactor hopefully in the 2030s. Tesla will have more impact from now to 2030 and even 2040 than First Light Fusion. SpaceX will also do more to impact the world. I am covering what is impactful. And I still cover the science developments with better depth than other sources. I did not stop at the First Light Fusion, press release. I went to the youtube videos, research papers and past promises. I am fast and thorough. I know you will not find as complete an article on what is going on with First Light Fusion from any other single source. I will tell you though that the next twenty years on this site will have a lot about what Tesla has done to convert the world to electric cars, self-driving cars, battery energy storage and practical humanoid robots. It will also have a lot about SpaceX has done. I did not talk about trivial stuff with Tesla and SpaceX. Also, Twitter has been big in the news and it is an impactful development. NuScale is still tracking to 2029-2030 for possible first commercial power.

  36. Getting to WeChat levels is gonna be hard. WeChat had a measure of government backing to get to where it is now, along with greenfield business areas that are not present currently elsewhere, due to similar incumbents in niche verticals. Having that collective business ecosystem available allows the chat part to run as a loss leader.

    Though it is a small chance to implement micropayments, the long sought feature of of web 1.0/2.0 where people can pay sub-one cent amounts for things. The general idea being making payment transactions frictionless for very small amounts (would you pay perhaps Brian here 0.5 cents as a tip this post?), the idea being frictionless tipping for digital goods enables new economic modes (the premise being you forget you are paying because the cost is that small, which is not that dissimilar to people forgetting subscriptions and continuing to pay automatically, but the payment amounts do eventually aggregate into useful amounts for creators). But it would have to have a transaction rate the world has not seen before (closest being the automatic bidding for ad impressions, or some of the HFT craziness). This is definitely not the realm of traditional blockchains. Micropayments may also enable new banking modes for the unbanked (really just switching to netbanks to host the wallets of the homeless)

  37. Currently every other article on Brian's blog is about Tesla changing the shade of paint on their red models, or SpaceX rockets using a slightly sharper nose one. So now it's all going to be Twitter stuff too There's not been any news articles on fusion for ages. The first light fusion news recently got no mention. And the Nuscale SMR now looks unsustainable. Again, no comment from Brian.

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